Contemporary Japanese Dining with Style:
On the fringes of Knightsbridge just a stone’s throw from Harrods, Beauchamp Place is home to several good restaurants, two of which happen to be Japanese. Nozomi is one of those places which tries (and I think succeeds) to blend fine dining with an evening of entertainment – cocktails and dancing if you want in a relaxed and relatively intimate environment. It is tastefully lavish, any home in Mayfair or Knightsbridge might boast the same kind of decor as the upstairs dining rooms. And the cocktails are excellent.
Mine was the rather beautiful rose and lychee bellini cocktail on the right hand side complete with edible rose petal. I could quite happily have just sat drinking more cocktails, but the challenge then would have been to have any realistic chance of reviewing the food.
So, we took a look around Nozomi before settling down to order dinner. It was quiet, at 7pm on a Friday evening almost deserted, and I did wonder what the implication of that might be. But, as our food started to arrive so did other diners and by the time we left the dining room was packed. It is clear that people visit Nozomi for a night out, not just for a quick pre-theatre bite to eat, and our dining companions were settling in for an evening of entertainment.
I’m always happy to start by nibbling on edamame beans. I like to pretend that I’m being healthy. Actually I do genuinely enjoy the crunchy fresh taste, a more refreshing start to a meal than bread and oil for example.
We shared a few dishes as starters. Pretty and delicious scallop dumplings that were much lighter than my photo suggests
A very generous portion of soft shell crab – I think there were two or three crabs on the plate.
And my favourite dish, a delicate plate of Wagyu beef tataki which is seared and thinly sliced, served with lotus root, garlic chips and ginger dressing.
I picked the Miso Black Cod as my main course which was immaculately presented and perfectly cooked.
My companion’s duck breast was fine; pink in the middle and utterly delicious (I did get to taste a slice). Served on a bed of kaki fruit with baby leeks and orange miso sauce this seems something of a fusion dish, a very refined take on duck a l’orange with a hint of Japanese flavourings.
On the side a portion of asparagus – again a neat presentation of the al-dente asparagus topped with a ginger dressing.
Then on to desserts – my dining companion’s chocolate fondant was suitable gooey in the middle and based on a good, dark chocolate.
My macha creme brulee was suprisingly light and refreshing, with a crisp caramel top, just as it should be.
Perhaps most significantly though was that by the time we finished eating, the restaurant had a very pleasant busy, but relaxed vibe. It did seem to be living up to the promise of an evening of dining and entertainment and I for one would not have hurried home if my companion hadn’t needed to catch a train to the depths of Surrey!